- By: Marketing & Communications Team
- September 1, 2023
We are so excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Wild Rose Social Media Coordinator Cherianne Cybulskie, and Kelly Mae – a Wild Rose College student and founder of Wild Blooms Flower Farm. Cherianne and Kelly had an engaging conversation, Kelly shares with us how she got started on her herbal journey and how she found her way in the flower fields!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? How did you get started in the world of herbalism and flower farming?
My name is Kelly Mae and I am a mama & wife along with many other hats. I did not grow up in the country or on a farm. I was born in Smiths Falls and spent a good portion of my childhood there and about 6 years in a very small town called Red Rock.
I grew up in a home with my mama who loved plastic flowers and hairspray, she was a hairdresser. Though always surrounded by love & her view of beauty – I longed for a space to run wild and free.
In 2011 I found myself as a single mom living in a tiny apartment with my son daydreaming of a piece of property in the country for us.
One day I asked my son who was in kindergarten to draw a picture with me. We decided to draw a picture of the house we wanted to live in. We drew a farm-style house, with flowers, a sandbox, a tractor, and some trees. We framed it and hung it on the wall.
About a month later I met a woman who told me her husband had just passed away and she needed someone to take over the rental they owned. She drove me out to the farm to show it to me, and I have been here ever since- almost 9 years.
For 6 years I rented this 34.5 acre farm and daydreamed of owning it and turning it into a working flower farm. In 2020 the landlord decided to sell it and I started Wild Blooms Flower Farm. I had never grown a flower before but knew deep inside that I could.
What inspired you to pursue the Practical Herbalist Diploma Program at Wild Rose Herbal College?
Also, in 2020 my mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It was a complete shock to all of us. Deep in my grief, I started to wonder what could have caused it, trying to grasp onto anything that would give me some answers. I blamed hairsprays, aspartame, and her weight watcher’s diet because I needed a reason. That led me down the road of researching plant medicine. I was fascinated to realize that so many of the plants I was learning about grew right here on the farm. It felt like I was remembering the plants more so than learning about them. I began to build a relationship with herbs like Stinging Nettle, Goldenrod, St. John’s Wort, and Red Clover.
As a natural student of life, I looked up ways that I could learn on a deeper level. I came across Wild Rose College and fell madly in love with the Practical Herbalist Diploma program.
Could you share with us the name of your business and what you do?
My business is called Wild Blooms Flower Farm. I grow sustainable, chemical-free cut flowers and I make natural apothecary products with herbs that I forage here on the land. I create floral designs for weddings, and host workshops, and women’s circles.
What motivates you to work in the field of herbalism and make your own medicines from the plants you grow and forage?
I believe I am here on this land for that very reason. The farm is home, and the plants have become like family. We have a beautiful relationship, and they are teaching me many things about myself and life.
I am motivated by the fact that I will never truly understand it all, and there will always be something new to learn.
Could you share a memorable experience or turning point in your journey to becoming a herbalist and flower farmer?
It was last year when I was learning about so many different plants through Wild Rose College, and I was out on the land foraging. I had my basket with me and I expected to see a few things I recognized, but every direction I turned and every step I took there was another medicinal plant or flower. I cried and gave gratitude, because how surreal to find yourself exactly where you are meant to be.
How do you see herbalism and flower farming as unique career opportunities? What do you hope to achieve through your work?
I believe they are unique career opportunities because they walk gently beside the cycle of life. Without evening realizing it at first, you are immersed in life, death, and rebirth. You are tending to land and plants, and they are taking care of you.
Through my work, I hope to bring light to the beauty and life force energy that is all around us. And to also create beauty and moments of joy for others to experience. It is my life mission to share some of the insights I continue to learn and to open this space to others.
What impact do you believe your herbalism practices and flower farming will have on the community or the world?
I believe that when we are working at something that is in true alignment with who we are we can share that gift with the world. Little glimmers of hope and joy. I use flower farming and herbalism as a medium in which I can connect with the community. It is my art, and the world needs more of that.
As someone passionate about herbalism, what advice would you give to others who are interested in pursuing a similar path?
Well, they say that the plants find you and I believe this to be true. If you find that you are feeling called or drawn toward plant medicine, I would consider it a beautiful gift. There is a wonderful community within Wild Rose College, lots of amazing books, and of course just follow your intuition and it will guide you.
Location: Prescott, ON, Canada, Ontario
Photo Credit: Kameron Elizabeth Photography